Labeling the Back of Your Prints

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Frank R, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    I am starting to accumulate a few 8x10 prints. I realized I should be labeling the back of them to keep track of the film used, shooting date and location, printing method, paper, and developing/adjusting details used.

    Do any of you do this? What type of information do you record?

    I was thinking of using stick-on labels and running them through my laser printer to print the category names. I would then fill in the details with a pencil or pen. Is their something already available commercially like this? I did not see anything at B&H.
     
  2. KenM

    KenM Member

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    I had a stationery place create a rubber stamp - the stamp has my name and address, as well as labelled spaces for the name of the print, the negative number, negative date, and print date.

    Of course, I only stamp the backs of mounted prints, and I don't load up the stamp with ink. All you need is a light dab on the ink pad, a light touch on a scrap of mount board, and then a good press on the back of the print. You get a nice, legible image. No glue from adhesive labels to worry about, either.
     
  3. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I just use a pencil to write the name of the print, date and my name. I use an excel spreadsheet for all of the technical information. If you do decide to go with stickers, Avery makes some acid-free sticky-labels.
     
  4. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I simply use a soft pencil on the back of the print itself, too. I label the back of the mount with a label - be sure to read the Avery package closely - a few of their labels are acid-free but most are not. I had hoped the clear labels would be archival, but an email exchange with Avery confirmed that they are not.
    juan
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I just write in pencil along the border--the name of the image, date of exposure (which allows me to find the neg in my files), date of the print, number in series if applicable, and a signature.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i sign the back of the print in pencil.
    no labels, no stickers, no ink
    --- back of the mat/or under the window maybe.
    i'd be afraid inks will give a new meaning to "full bleed"
    and the labels will be bogus adhesive.

    probably a label made of nice paper pasted with wheat paste and written with india ink / penicil would work too, but that is a lot of work for just a note ...
     
  7. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    I first mount the print to acid-free foam board, either hinge or Koda cold.
    Each image is assigned the next sequential number as it is printed.
    I formated an Avery 8164 in Publisher that contains all the info the buyer needs to know, and put it on.
    Then I rubber stamp with edition # and print #, and fill that in.
    Then I sign and date.
    All this is on the verso of the mount, not the print itself.
    I keep a "darkroom journal," of all pertinent info that went into making the print inself; paper type, chemistry, exposure, etc, by assigned number, and print size.
    This may seem like a lot, but it helps insure repeatability when printing, and creates a uniformity in presentation to the customer.
    DT
     
  8. gchpaco

    gchpaco Member

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    I usually write the negative number in my filing system and a number uniquely identifying that print, which is cross indexed to a notebook containing the technical details. This has worked out okay for me so far.
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Always use pencil, don't use any mass-market gummed adhesive like an Avery label. Most inks are highly acidic, and the same is true for commercial adhesives. If you want a standard label to go on the back of a print, the wheat-paste option is a good one, so long as you're printing the label on an acid-free paper.

    Frankly, unless your handwriting is atrocious and illegible, write it on in longhand with pencil. If nothing else, it makes it a more personal touch for a customer, and helps validate your prints for a future historian.
     
  10. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    Peter sent me an Excel file that cotained a template of what he uses. I attached a portion of it here. The file contained four labels per page.

    (Thanks Peter, that is just what I was looking for. I tried replying to your email but I got an error message saying it could not go through)

    I will modify it a bit for my purposes. I don't have
    a darkroom since circumstances limit me to shooting
    4x5 E6 and scanning them.

    I will have to go out now and buy some acid free
    labels in that size. Do you happen to have a product
    number to recommend?
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    BTW: I guess my initial question was not that clear.

    I am not framing any final prints yet. I was just wanting to keep track of the information that was involved in making a particular print so I could use them as reference later.

    I ended up in this forum since the question did not seem to fit any other forum.
     
  12. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I write that information on the back in pencil. The developer, toner, dodge/burn info, etc. and keep these as references in a black portfolio from the art shop. Nothing fancy, just the kind with a sheet of black paper to separate two prints in a clear sleeve. I usualy also write the info down in a notebook with more info on enlarger settings, lens settings, etc.

    - Randy
     
  13. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    i have doubts as to the usefulness of recording such info, i did so for a number of years, then realised when later reprinting a neg my style, preference and abilities have changed so to make a new print the same as the original is creatively restrictive

    anyway, just write on the back of the print with a soft pencil, more versatile and no problems later trying to remove labels and glue, incorporate a unique number that references the neg file, and if required a reference to a number used in a database where further details are recorded
     
  14. eddym

    eddym Member

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    I agree with Flying Camera. Labels may be archival, but the glue on the back will dry out with time and the labels will fall off, leaving crap on the back of the print. Personal experience speaking.
    I sign the back of prints with a pencil, and include my file #, the date printed, and the location if pertinent (i.e., landscapes). Other information such as paper, film, exposure, etc. is kept in a log book.
     
  15. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    For mounted prints only, I use a rubber stampwith my name, date created and date printed, title and edition. The ink I use is said to be the best archival ink you can purchase and is said to not fade, bleed or discolor with time.

    For loose prints, I write nothing on the back, but rather keep a log book of how to print all my images. Of course, varibles always change your exposure and such, but it gets you in the right area.
     
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Eddy,

    I use the same labels designed for slide mounts, and have done for maybe 20 years. None has fallen off yet.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  17. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    I use labels made by Apli, ref code 1280. The label is 148mm x 105mm and there are 4 labels on an A4 page. They are probably not archival but I only stick them to my preference print which I refer to when printing from the same negative in the future. I may not get an identical print again but the information gives me a good starting point.

    Peter
     
  18. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I use an archival 6B pencil.
     
  19. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I keep track of this info because I find that it saves me both paper and time - neither of which I have in any quantity on a regular basis. By first looking at a reference print and then this info I have a starting point for changes and I don't have to waste materials re-printing from scratch. While I too find that I may change the way I make any given print over time, having a starting place stimulates creativity by allowing me to jump directly to different variations of the print.

    I forgot to mention before that I, as some others have pointed out, find a 4B or 6B pencil allows for clear writing without indentation on fiber paper.

    - Randy
     
  20. Kilgallb

    Kilgallb Subscriber

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    Wite all the info you need on a sheet of acid free paper and fold it over to hold the print. Paper from a sketch pad works well and is fairly cheap. I keep my 8x10 prints stored in old photo paper boxes. I wonder if the boxes will effect prints however.
     
  21. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    I write the recipe for the print on the negative sleeve. That way I don't have to keep track of a reference print.